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Culture » Pet Page Articles

Time for a Second Chance



There are over 100,000 homeless dogs on petfinder.com, a national data base of dogs available to rescue. Some of those eyes reach out with happy hope, some with sad fear, but all have a story behind them.

Often when you bring home a rescue pup it takes her a while to come out of her shell. Those first few weeks she seems perfect and then one day the honeymoon ends and suddenly it seems you’re living with the devil in disguise. It can be incredibly frustrating, but remember behind that behavior could be a story of broken trust, loss and struggle, so cut her some slack!

It might take a while until she trusts she’s found her forever home, until then reassure her of her place in the family through training. Instead of thinking of what you don’t want her to do, train for the positive and think what behavior you DO want.

Is she destroying your couch? Show her what it’s appropriate to chew on by giving her a bully or other chew toy. Are barking and jumping causing chaos? Ask a positive trainer to explain how to use time outs to extinguish pesky habits before they get out of hand. Some rescue dogs are great escape artists, so make sure they have a secure fence when outside and help them get plenty of exercise.

Most importantly be patient and seek help from a professional trainer to design a training plan that will ensure your rescue pup has their forever home with you!